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The original plan to temporarily close 3rd Street SE in both directions for a few weeks to allow the construction of a "deck" over the Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction footprint has apparently been rethought, according to a missive this morning from CSX.
Later this week, 3rd Street will be restricted to a single lane of traffic, northbound, from a little ways north of I Street up until through the light just north of the freeway overpass.
In other words, if you want to drive from north of the freeway to south of the freeway, you won't be able to do it on 3rd Street until after the temporary decking is built, which is expected to take "several weeks." At that point, two-way traffic will be reestablished.
Fourth Street will be the fall-back for heading southward, so if you are coming south on 3rd, you'll need to turn left at G Street (the "Results" block) and then right on 4th. (If you are southbound on 3rd, you will still be able to turn right onto the freeway ramp.)
CSX says that "the new plans were developed with DDOT’s approval following community requests to avoid closing 3rd Street during the tunnel project, especially in light of traffic associated with baseball games at Nationals Park."
In other tunnel news, "CSX is pleased to announce that the street-level portion of the demolition of 370 feet of the existing tunnel in the 200 block of Virginia Avenue has been completed several weeks ahead of schedule. While some track-level demolition remains to be completed, the noise associated with this work should diminish significantly for residents near the intersection of 3rd Street and Virginia Avenue, and no additional early-morning or Sunday demolition work periods are expected."
PS: Not my greatest headline, but thanks to the world of search-engine-optimized URLs, it's kind of bad to change it after I've tweeted/Facebook'ed the link. Was trying to make clear from the headline that people coming south from the Hill will be impacted, but it's really just at the Virginia Avenue intersection where the construction is taking place.
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keith18 says: (3/1/16 11:20 AM)
I hope CSX does a lot better at pedestrian and traffic management than they have been doing because that intersection is a fatality waiting to happen. Trucks often park in front of the stop sign so cars aren't sure if they should stop and there aren't clearly marked crosswalks. The sidewalks on one side of the street are often closed requiring pedestrians to cross and then cross back over to northbound side of the road under the highway. It's not an optimal set-up.


Shogungts says: (3/1/16 2:30 PM)
I hope they are good with signs letting people on 3rd st southbound know that if they want to get south of the highway, they need to bail onto G St prior to that intersection since the only option will be to turn onto the highway if they don't turn on G (or cut through the Results parking lot to 4th street or to turnaround on 3rd).


conngs0 says: (3/1/16 3:53 PM)
There are definitely going to be more logistical hiccups when various stages of this construction project begin. Indeed, proper signage will be necessary to improve the flow of traffic around this intersection.

I also wonder whether DDOT is planning on lengthening the duration of the southbound green light at 4th and Virginia (currently, only four or five cars can get south of the freeway before having to wait for a very long red light). If all of the southbound third street traffic has to move to fourth street, there's going to be a considerable backup.


jaanku says: (3/1/16 5:07 PM)
Hopefully CSX manages this better than the mess the construction crews created at the intersection of NJ and I for the last year+. The construction of Park Chelsea and the other new building have been done with no consideration for pedestrians, bikers or drivers.


Ampersand says: (3/2/16 1:33 PM)
conngs0 - You make an excellent point about the light at 4th and Virginia. That light is so bad that on the rare occasion I am driving through that intersection (instead of biking or walking), I often turn left on G, right on 5th, right on Virginia, and left on 4th. I can save up to 3 minutes (two light cycles) by doing so, given how badly traffic backs up there sometimes. Especially since a 60+ second red light means the stopped drivers have often spaced out by the time it turns green. I wonder who to contact about light timing issues?

Somewhat relatedly, I continue to be annoyed that the light at northbound 5th St. at Virginia Ave. continues to give more green light time to the closed road (Virginia) than the open one (5th). That might get especially awful since 3rd St northbound will be closed, and I'm sure some traffic will divert to 5th and left on Virginia. Nothing more frustrating than sitting at a light for 5 cycles because a nonexistent road gets twice as much time as you...


JD says: (3/2/16 1:48 PM)
(It's 3rd Street southbound that will be closed temporarily, not northbound)


jg says: (3/3/16 10:49 AM)
According to the map on the flyer from CSX that was attached to my door yesterday, 3rd Street is going to be one-way northbound all the way up to G Street. Southbound 3rd Street traffic will be forced on to G Street and will not be able to turn right onto the freeway. That said, CSX maps have had inaccurate information on them before...


JD says: (3/3/16 12:14 PM)
@JG, this tweet in reply to the question I posed on that issue:

Virginia Ave. Tunnel @VATNews
@JDLand @DDOTDC Great question; map should be clearer. There will be no restrictions to I-695 access from SB 3rd Street or WB Virginia Ave.

link



jg says: (3/3/16 12:33 PM)
@JD - ha, the map itself is clear as day. I think what they meant to say is that the map should be corrected.

Like I said, this is not the first time a CSX-produced map distributed to residents has had incorrect information on it. Thanks for getting the correction, er, clarification!

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